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Industry Folks - Tom Buenrostro, Allen & Allen Co.

image Tom Buenrostro, Counter Sales

SAN ANTONIO - Though Tom Buenrostro started in the yard at Allen & Allen Co., he now works counter sales, mostly millwork and lumber, and is celebrating 25 years with the company.

     Having started with the company part-time in September of 1991 for a work study program while attending Burbank High School, Buenrostro came to consider the people there family. He credits Pat Knight, who was president and general manager at the time, for not just being his mentor, but being more like a hero.
    “I think Mr. Knight had a big part in me staying here this long,” says Buenrostro. “He’s been gone since ’99, but he left such a big impression on me – the way he was, the way he treated people.” He adds that because of Knight, “It was an honor to work here and it stayed with me.”
    The things he enjoys most about his job are the customers, some of whom he says come in occasionally just to talk or laugh, and dealing with the challenges of his work.
    Buenrostro deals with a lot of the older, historical homes in San Antonio in areas such as King William and Lavaca. He says he even has architects and designers come in sometimes who say they’ve heard he is the guy who to talk to about historical homes.
    One of Buenrostros favorite hob-bies is bicycling around the area where he lives. Having grown up in Southtown, he rides his bike around the area and will see his customers – contractors working on homes in the district – and he’ll stop and look at the job and work they are doing. His customers get a kick out of him checking in and making sales calls on his bicycle.
    Sometimes, he’ll ride to the address of a certain order to see the progression of the work and what they are doing with the products he sells them. He really enjoys seeing them use the materials for preservation or restoration work.
    Buenrostro and his wife, Wendy, have a daughter, and he goes for rides a lot with her in a trailer that he pulls behind him on the bicycle. He says that he never had an interest in having kids, but since his daughter was born, he can’t get enough of her. He was 38 when she was born, so he explains that he had all the fun he needed before her, and now she takes up a lot of his free time, because he likes doing everything with her.
    Today, at 44, Buenrostro’s daughter is in kindergarten, his wife works at Ama-zon, and sometimes he enjoys wood-working, especially repurposing mate-rials and making countertops. –mh

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Mary Hazlett mary@constructionnews.net